Film Reviews by AB

Welcome to AB's film reviews page. AB has written 162 reviews and rated 177 films.

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Time Loop

Poor

(Edit) 29/04/2021

An idea that has been done many times before, in film and in TV and this was really no better (or worse). Main drawbacks were: the stilted conversations as foreign actors and actresses attempt to speak English - the plot lost a lot with that; and the dialogue was too echo-y when held in the barn where a lot of the 'action' takes place so really the sound track was the major failing of this film. Another of these confusing "time-loop paradox" films that requires a lot of concentration just to try and keep pace with, before attempting to unravel what is going on, why, when and where. Even the pig looked confused

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Analyze That

Tries too hard

(Edit) 11/04/2021

Not as good as the original "Analyze This", with a weak storyline and far fewer amusing scenes. Watchable but do not expect too much

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The Firm

A nice little thriller

(Edit) 01/04/2021

I am not usually a Tom Cruise fan but this was a great little film - well acted, great storyline, nice twists and very believable, if fiction can be described as such. Enjoyed it so much that I now need to read the book.

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Abominable

Poignant and fun

(Edit) 31/03/2021

Even as a 60+ man I really enjoyed this film with a tear in my eye with the poignancy of it - a sort of "what if it's true" thought process. The Yeti 'kid' is great, behaving just as children/animals would do - sticking their head out of a train to get the wind in their hair, as would a dog with a car. The touch of magic to help things when required does not detract too much from how to solve problems and even the baddies are not that bad. Very good animation with a film-long riff of a violin theme that you cannot get out of your mind. The whole film would go down very well with children and help teach them about protecting wildlife and perseverance

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An American Pickle

Poor showing from an old idea

(Edit) 24/03/2021

The concept has been done better (eg Sleeper) and this was poor - making more of what he thought of modern day society may have made it funnier and too often there was too much of a leap of knowledge by someone who would barely understand electricity never mind cars, aeroplanes, the internet etc etc without being intimidated, intrigued, bemused by it all to make the film actually 'believable' as an entity. Nothing was funny. Watch only to say that you have seen it.

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Deja Vu

Tries to be far too clever for its own good and fails

(Edit) 11/03/2021

A real mishmash of temporal ideas and a concept with implausible physics and interactions. Despite what other reviewers say, the director, stars etc do not improve on a ridiculously confusing storyline that is not entertaining but actually quite uninteresting and where the viewer is quickly confused and lost as to what is happening 'then' or 'now' - I fast forwarded several times just to get nearer to the end of the film. Watching it, all I could hear in my mind was David Tennant as Dr Who talking about "wibbly wobbly timey wimey" and it not being a straight line with linear cause and effect. Far too clever for its own good and (slightly) better done in the film "Source Code"

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Love Actually

Not as twee as people make out

(Edit) 05/02/2021

As a middle-aged man I was apprehensive about this film but went with the views of a critic in a national newspaper that it should be watched - and I was very pleasantly surprised. A whole host of household names with multi-threaded intertwined storylines (that you have to keep an eye out for *during* the film and not via Wikipedia, as I did), all with feel-good intentions and amusing (but not funny/hilarious), low-key scenes, leading to the inevitable pairing off at the conclusion of the film, cleverly shot at a Christmas concert and Heathrow to bring the whole shebang together, tying the threads into a single entity of love. A typical British feel-good film with effortless acting, self-deprecating humour and clever storyline. Yes to watching it if you are in any doubt

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Ad Astra

Over-hyped

(Edit) 01/02/2021

The storyline concept (unknown threat) was a fair one and the implementation was plausible (Mars base, tourism, semi-secret mission, know-all Government agencies etc) but I still found the film uninteresting as it could not decide if it was a thriller, a "who/what dunnit", a bonding story, a psychological/psychiatric remedial or what. This film actually could have (should have ?) been a lead-in for many unknown Holywood actors/actresses as the actual parts played by Liv Tyler and Tommy Lee Jones were minimal. Big names do not a film make, despite the hype that the film industry attaches to them and their abilities (which they did not have a chance to showcase here. Heck, I'll even include Brad Pitt in that statement as ANYONE could have played the part he did). This film was certainly pushed by the industry when it came out but be in no doubt, it is not worth it.

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The Post

Politics away from the politicians

(Edit) 05/11/2020

Nice drama (wanted to call it thriller, but the outcome is known so can hardly call it that) about the freedom of the press v the political beasts.

As it was all based on a true event, some licence used in the detail but that is really a minor area for dramatic purposes and it works very well as a film, showing the different pressures being played out, from different perspectives (financial, legal, rivalry, personal).

The only gripe I have is in the personnel details as to who was whom in various aspects - we all know who Nixon was, but the other players would have helped by having some sort of guide as to their roles in government, military, newspapers.

A very good film, with good acting, and Tom Hanks seems to have aged a lot!

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We're No Angels

A gentle farce

(Edit) 07/10/2020

nice timing, well-acted, family-set film that is a gentle farce with a nice outcome and without any over-action, swearing or shouting!

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Mary and the Witch's Flower

Typically good anime

(Edit) 07/10/2020

Well-drawn, nice storyline with shades of Harry Potter and other magic-based stories. Very un-Japanese characters but that it no way takes anything from the film. One to watch with young children

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She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

What we grew up with

(Edit) 16/09/2020

This is the epitome of what westerns were like when we were growing up - John Wayne, Indians, cavalry, battles, dust, horses being worked too hard

One of several collaborations between Wayne and John Ford (Director) in the western theme, most of which are regarded as classics, and this one is no different AND with a theme that you can't stop whistling!

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Young Adult

Awful

(Edit) 12/09/2020

I cannot believe that the critic's review (below) gave this 5 stars - obviously film critics inhabit a parallel world where unfunny, depressing, pointless films like this one rate as hilarious, uplifting and genre-defining. Avoid at all costs as not even Theron can save this from being only fit for ridicule

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15 Minutes of War

Taught thriller

(Edit) 28/08/2020

I had not heard of this scenario (albeit the film is 'based on true events') but the film is very good at relaying what the whole situation was and what could be (including the normal prevarication of politicians). You *knew* what was coming but even then the resulting firefight was so one-sided as to be embarrassing. Some humour in the film, some anti-authority in the men of the GIGN, but also some pathos when the outcome comes to an end. If even half of the detailed events are true, it is what these sort of men are trained for and it makes me feel a bit safer knowing that they are capable of helping. Acting was good, effects worth their salt. Had to look it up but I didn't know that Olga Kurylenko was fluent in French - thought that she had a fantastic linguistic teacher for the part! Recommended to watch

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Hunter Killer

Impressive, taught, frightening

(Edit) 07/08/2020

I really liked this film - OK it is in the same vein as Hunt For Red October as a submarine-based film but in this film (as in others) you realise the pressures of command that these submarine captains are under - not through leadership of men but the power that they hold in the capability of starting a conflict that will have no winners, and they are asked to play politics as well, dealing with people who drive a desk all day and call it pressure. Submarines are not as un-manoeuvrable as some will have you believe, just slow and steady when required and where everyone has to think in more than 2 dimensions. My one major gripe about the film was the unbelievably simplified scenario that the SEAL team just walked into a Russian naval base. I would recommend this film

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